Front Row at the Movies
“Words and Pictures”
Continues Battle of the Sexes
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a motion picture worth? Don’t worry, I promise to keep this review of “Words and Pictures” under a thousand words.
“Words and Pictures” -- now playing at the Tropic Cinema -- is rom-com about two teachers. Yes, students, your teachers have love lives too.
One teaches writing (Clive Owen, who has among other roles played Hemingway) and the second teaches art (Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche, a French actress who is herself a recognized artist). They clash over which is more important, words or pictures.
She: “Words are lies.”
He: “So words are lies. And pictures are …?”
She: “Do I have to actually say it?”
English teacher Jack Marcus (Owen) is on a downward spiral, his academic career on the line. “What happened to you, Jack? You were our literary star,” says a faculty member.
But things change when new art instructor Dina Delsanto (Binoche) arrives at the upscale prep school. He’s flamboyant; she’s stoic. Both have demons to wrestle with. But opposites attract, so they wind up doing a little wrestling of their own.
It comes down to a contest between (as the title tells you) words and pictures. And their students get involved.
As Jack tells her, “A man is worth more than his words, isn’t he? And a woman more than her pictures?”
“Maybe we’re less than that,” she replies. “Maybe our work is the best of us.”
“I hope not,” he sighs.
The winner? We won’t play spoiler, but needless to say this is a cute battle-of-the-sexes feel-good movie. Maybe not up to the level of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy battling it out in “Woman of the Year” or “Adam’s Rib.” But good fun nonetheless ... with an intellectual touch.
And that’s the word on this picture.